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Video series showcases teens’ big dreams

Walter “Twinky” Springs was first inspired to pick up a camera when he saw his mom watering flowers. He wanted to capture the beauty he saw in that moment.

He was nervous when he first started exploring photography because he didn’t really know what he was doing. But that feeling changed when he met Adrian, a mentor at his local Best Buy Teen Tech Center in Denver.

“He just taught me everything he knew, and I had to take advantage of that,” Twinky said. “So, I learned what he knew. And then I tried to learn new stuff that he didn’t know.”

Twinky was one of six teens who shared their stories for Best Buy’s new animated YouTube series called “Dream Huge.” Each of them has big dreams that Best Buy Teen Tech Centers are helping make a reality.

The teens were paired with professional animators and storytellers to bring their stories to life. The 60-second videos are each animated by different artists with styles that were selected to align with each teen’s individual interests.

Here’s a little more background about the teens involved. You can watch all the videos here.

Karayjus Atraio-Perry, 17

Best Buy Teen Tech Center at the MLK Center in Indianapolis

Karayjus dreams of starting a family business that fixes cars.

“When I’m under that car hood, it makes me feel like I’m powerful and can actually do something,” he said.

Karayjus attends the MLK Center’s Best Buy Teen Tech Center powered by Klipsch in Indianapolis. That’s where he made the realization there are many career paths.

“You can choose not only when it comes to technology, but when it comes to life,” he said. “And you don’t have to settle for something you don’t want to do. If you really want to do something, you can do it. And there are so many opportunities out here.”

Fittingly, Karayjus spent part of his paycheck from the Dream Huge project to purchase his first car, taking a step closer to seeing his dream become a reality.

Karen Nevarez, 17

Best Buy Teen Tech Center at Family Service Association of San Antonio

Karen remembers how it felt the first time she painted with watercolors. She loves to paint scenery, and now, through the Best Buy Teen Tech Center, she’s learned how to create art digitally.

In fact, she has developed many interests. She loves journalism, drawing and robotics, and she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.

“I love to learn anything that I can,” she said. “It makes me proud.”

Olivia Pierce, 18

Best Buy Teen Tech Center at Hope Community in Minneapolis

Olivia is using her voice as a musician to create change. She’s motivated by her two younger sisters (ages 9 and 15) and hopes to pass on the importance of knowing your self-worth.

“No matter what anybody else says, you can honestly do anything if you put your mind to it,” she said.

And that includes using your voice for activism.

“I just want everybody to know that if you want to write a song, write a song. If you want to start speaking up for activism and civil rights, then start speaking up,” she said.

Olivia’s music is already driving national conversations and was recently featured on The View.

Travon Alfred, 18

Best Buy Teen Tech Center at the FBR Boys and Girls Club in Washington, D.C.

Travon carries a notebook with him everywhere he goes. He’s passionate about writing lyrics and making music.

He attends the Best Buy Teen Tech Center in Washington D.C., where he found a mentor who pushes him — even on his hardest days. Now he pushes himself.

“I keep driving myself. I’ve got to keep working so it’s going pay off. It’s got to pay off,” he said. “If I had a notebook in my hand right now, I’d write about how far I came.”

Walter “Twinky” Springs, 18

Best Buy Teen Tech Center at Gold Crown in Denver

Twinky had to work hard to get his first camera. His family lives paycheck to paycheck, so he saved every little bit he could from selling candy or doing chores.

Now he’s photographing concerts in Denver’s hip-hop and rap scene.

“It’s been a mind-boggling experience to see what a camera can do,” Twinky said. “And if you believe in yourself, to see what you can do, especially if you have the support system around you who believes in you, which I did.”

Weslyn Harmon, 18

Best Buy Teen Tech Center at Hope Community in Minneapolis

Weslyn wants to become a criminal lawyer, but social activism is what drives all her dreams. She was animated riding a horse in her video because that’s a strong symbol for reclaiming power within the Black community.

Social justice hit close to home for Weslyn last spring, when George Floyd was killed in her own city just days before her high school graduation. She immediately planned a peaceful sit-in at the Minnesota state Capitol with the intent to provide a space for Black youth to be heard.

Weslyn developed her passion for activism while attending the Best Buy Teen Tech Center at Hope Community in Minneapolis. In addition to providing access to technology and opportunities to apply her skills in graphic design, she developed connections at the center that helped her better understand her own identity.

“I think it’s really about putting yourself out there and showing people what you have, especially as a Black youth, because we don’t really get that opportunity that often to showcase our talents,” she said.

Best Buy Teen Tech Centers are interactive learning spaces that help teens explore technology to discover new interests, collaborate with one another and prepare for the future. Learn more about Teen Tech Centers here.